Grafica News - February 2017

Enterprising Women Entrepreneurs

Vani Raheja, MD, Ingenious Appliances & Packaging, Gurgaon

A genius in offering 'Ingenious Packaging' that has 'Eternal Grace'

Why did you venture into packaging?
I have a creative inclination. So, the idea was to have fun and explore my hidden talent in creativity. And I considered packaging to be a perfect field for this. We started off with getting job work done from various places and finally set up our in-house facilities when business started growing. Thus, Ingenious Appliances and Packaging Pvt Ltd was founded by me 8 years ago, with the blessing and encouragement of my parents (dad Vipin Raheja and mom Vandana Raheja).

Today, we have two broad businesses, viz, corporate packaging under the brand 'Ingenious Packaging' and Special Occasion/social stationery/gifting products under the brand name 'Eternal Grace.' Our 18000 sq. ft. factory houses a complete screen printing set up from Grafica besides full-fledged facilities required for manufacture of packaging and social stationery. Screen printing is an integral part of our packaging business.

How do you manage your business single handedly?
I think in printing you need to get orders on grounds of pure merit (quality, creativity, innovation, delivery, pricing) and not on the basis of gender-sympathy. Because in printing/packaging you have to prove your true capabilities; you have to deliver quality products with competitive price, you have to be committed to delivery. You have to be innovative, always. I was extremely lucky because most of our customers approached me, not the other way round. Often customers come to us and say that they liked our work and would like to work with us. Once you know what you are doing, people can see your true capabilities; your work speaks for itself.

Your views about Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save girl child, educate girl child):
Thanks for reminding me about this noble campaign. We want to extend our CSR initiative to girls' education. Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (meaning in English “Save girl child, educate girl child”) is reportedly an initiative of the Government of India. I believe providing education on an equal platform to both men and women is imperative. I feel for the country to grow and for us to move into the next century, it is not only important but also inevitable. Unless each one of us at our own level make effort to take this cause further, I don't think our country can grow.

Your views about the power of women: (Naari Shakti):
I believe, women are more resilient, more honest, and emotionally stronger. They work with a level of dedication which is much higher. I believe the sense of guilt is stronger in women. Unless one recognizes the power of women and take it forward I don't think any economy can actually grow. I feel women are equal partners in the growth of a home, society, business or a nation. I want to mention a very important point here that it is not just men who have to encourage women, but women themselves also need to encourage women.

I think the person should be judged on their capability, and not on gender (male/female). And, I am very fortunate with the way I have been brought up. There was never any difference between me and my brother (Vaibhav), and the way our capabilities were nurtured.

Home and business: How to strike a balance?
I am in office for about 5-6 hours a day. I am involved in strategic business development, viz, what customer/industry segment to be focused. I have a creative bent; I can imagine what I want, what our customers want. I guide my team on the creative part be it Diwali gifts, Rakhi boxes, etc.

I am also a director in my dad's company - Napino Auto and Electronics Ltd. I visit their factory at Manesar and I am completely aware of what's happening there. I had also traveled to various parts of the globe on numerous occasions for new business development.

Back home, I do not forget my roles and responsibilities and I spend some quality time with family members. Every working woman has a responsibility at home and work. I feel if you can do your work efficiently, there is no reason why we cannot balance between healthy work and joyful home.

Print business:
90% joy & 10% stress!
I never envisioned being in printing/packaging industry. We started off about 8 years ago, and we are growing from strength to strength. I feel grateful that I get to pursue my passion and use my creativity. Hence 90% of the time I am very happy with my business and of course then there exists 10% of pressure and stress. But it is part of the game and such stress is natural for everybody.

So, how do you de-stress yourself?
Spare time activities: Singing is my pass time. I have had training in light music.

Cooking to de-stress:
I cook Chinese. I love baking and also cooking Mexican.

Health & Fitness strategy:
I workout 3-4 times a week, under a professional trainer. I used to do lot of yoga, it really makes a big difference. Now I do regular 'Asanas' which is part of my fitness workout.

Your views about celebrating International Women's Day and empowering women:
We need to celebrate International Women's Day because at times some of us tend to forget that the opportunities that we as women are not something that is true for everybody. While some of us are lucky to be what we are today, a large number of women are deprived of even their basic rights. I think IWD is important to realise the fact that we are all human beings first, and 'men or women' later. Therefore, let there be equal rights and opportunities.

Who are your role models/inspirations? My mom (Vandana Raheja):
She has been my biggest inspiration so far. She has been extremely a strong and independent woman. She is the 'shock absorber' in our family.

Kalpana Chawla:
Sorry to say, she is not here right now but her legacy is still alive. She broke through lot of stereo types. To be able to go to space, it is important to be physically resilient. Usually women are treated as not being physically resilient. Breaking all the barriers, she had really opened sky of opportunities for women. 'If she could do, why not we.'

Priyanka Chopra:
She is my recent inspiration. She has managed herself to transcend from Bollywood to Hollywood, a successful feat which no Indian was able to achieve.

Post Graduation: MA in Management (Distinction) from University of Nottingham, U.K. Graduation: B.Sc (Hons) in Business Management (Silver Medalist) from Integrated Institute of Learning Management (IILM), New Delhi

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